Taylor Hackford set to direct Signal Hill starring Anthony Mackie as a young Johnnie Cochran
Taylor Hackford (The Comedian) is set to direct the upcoming film Signal Hill, according to Deadline. Signal Hill is the working title for the film that will star Anthony Mackie as a young Johnnie Cochran, the attorney famous for defending O.J. Simpson in the murder trial for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ron Goldman. When Cochran was hired for the trial, he was already famous and one of his big cases was fighting for justice in the Signal Hill police brutality case concerning the death of Ron Settles in 1981.
Ron Settles was a 21-year-old African American running back at California State University when he was arrested for speeding by California’s Signal Hill Police Department. The morning following his arrest, Ron Settles was found dead in his jail cell, beaten and hanged. Although the police claimed Settles’ death was a suicide, evidence to the contrary led to a civil suit against the Signal Hill PD. While no one was ultimately prosecuted, Settles’ family was awarded a $760,000 settlement. Cochran passed away in 2005.
The script for Signal Hill was written by David McMillan. The film will be produced by Mackie and Jason Spire with Robbie Brenner, Kevin McKeon and Jeff Kwatinetz. McMillan will executive produce. Signal Hill is hoping for a January 2018 production start. Justin Chadwick was attached to direct last year.
Taylor Hackford is known for directing The Comedian starring Robert De Niro, as well as An Officer and a Gentleman and Ray, for which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Hackford was nominated for Best Director. He is also married to Helen Mirren.
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